The Gravatt Family

See the Gravatt Census Transcripts                                              See also the related Tann family History page and Tree

See the Gravatt Family Tree                                                             See the Gravatt Family Photos


The research into the Gravatt family began many years ago with the help of a family tree that had been made out by Neil Gravatt for his aunt Doreen Howard (nee Curtis).  This family tree had been passed onto Antony Streatfield, (my dad and Doreen’s nephew) after her death.
Our Gravatt line terminates in
London, but it may progress into Sussex where there is a huge number of Gravatts or even Henley of Thames where a line goes back well into the 1500s. Time will tell.  At the top of the tree at the moment is John Gravatt born abt 1766.

Gravatt burial St. Lukes

Gravatt family burial at St. Luke’s Finsbury

We learned a lot about John Gravatt senior from his Will dated 11th January, 1834 (made the day before he died)1.  [Thanks to Marion Woolgar for this will and other documents sent to me during 2004-2005]. In the will, he states that he is a Gentleman. He leaves money to his sister, Nanny Horne and two nieces, Sophia and Hannah Horne, a niece Mrs Battice (then a widow) of Doncaster Place Old Kent Road , his daughter-in-law Hannah Gravatt, widow, of Windmill Street (this confirmed the link between this John and his son John, below) and his Gravatt grandchildren.  He also mentions in the will another daughter-in-law Sarah Barnes of Pentonville. Although I have managed to find details of his sister Ann Horne, her husband [a marriage has been found between Ann Gravat and Thomas Horne on 22nd June 1788 at St. Bennett, London]  and their daughters [they had five daughters that included Sophia, born 1796 and Hannah, born 1794], I am unable to confirm parents for them.   However, there are possible parents for John Gravatt born about 1764: John Gravatt and Ann Ryall who married in 1763 at Westminster (John born 24.10.1765) or John Gravatt, tanner and Ann (John born 10.4.1764).  Again these do not account for a sister Ann.     

As there is no mention of a wife in the will, it was assumed that she had died before him and by luck I was sent this grave inscription (thanks Joan!). If the Mary Gravatt mentioned on the headstone (right) was John’s wife, this may be the  Mary Wright who married a John Gravate on 1st August, 1786 at St Dunstan, Stepney, London 2.  This has yet to be confirmed.



 John Gravatt, a Newsman/Gentleman was born about 1764 and married Mary Wright 1st August, 1786 at St Dunstan, Stepney, London.  They had one son John Gravatt born about 1787 and probably another son who would have been married to Sarah who became Sarah Barnes of Pentonville as mentioned in the will of John senior [it must be remembered that the term ‘daughter-in-law’ was not always used in the way we use it now – it has been used to mean step-daughter for example].  John died on 12th January, 1834 and was buried at St. Lukes on 20th January 3 His wife Mary had died on 6th January 1830 and was buried on 14th January also at St. Lukes 3.  



John Gravatt born abt 1787 was also a Newsman/stationer at 8 Windmill Street, Finsbury. He marrried Hannah Steedman in 1812 at Barking.  They had nine children, all baptised at St. Luke’s church, Finsbury 3:

Mary  Gravatt bp 6.10.1812 Finsbury, d by 1815
John Gravatt bp 16.1.1814 Finsbury, d 10.8.1827 Finsbury bur 13.8.1827 St Lukes 3
Hannah Gravatt bp 7.5.1815  Finsbury, m 27.9.1836  Finsbury to James Tann (b 1814), d 28.12.1854, bur Hightgate cemetery 10
Mary Gravatt bp 7.5.1815 Finsbury
Thomas Gravatt (Law Stationer) b 15.6.1816 bp 22.9.1816 Finsbury, m 25.4.1839 Finsbury to Eleanor Tann (b 1818), d 17.5.1899 Leyton.
Robert Gravatt (Law Stationer) b 11.9.1817 bp 26.12.1817 Finsbury, m1 1841 Finsbury to Clarissa Harriet Tann (b 1819), m2 1881? London to Mary Ann Lambert,       d 1.4.1902 East Hendred, Berks
Mira Sarah Gravatt bp 21.4.1819 Finsbury, d 26.8.1865 Islington (spinster)
James Gravatt bp 8.7.1821 Finsbury,
William Gravatt b 31.3.1821 bp 8.7.1821 Finsbury, d 2.7.1822 Finsbury bur 7.7.1822 St Lukes 3

In the 1846 London Directory, Hannah was listed as  Hannah Gravatt & Son (stationer), 8 Windmill Street, Finsbury Square, the son being Robert, but I have been unable to locate her in the 1841 census. Her two youngest surviving children James (a Grocer) and Mira were living at Hyde Place, Tower Hamlets, Shoreditch. In the 1851 census Hannah was living at Green Lanes, Tottenham with daughters Mary, Mira and a grandson Robert.  Hannah was living at 14 Albion Street in 1861 with her two youngest daughters Mary and Myra.  She died at the same address on 5th February, 1862 aged 71 4. Her son Robert was present at death.  She was buried on 14th February, 1862 at Highgate Cemetry.


It appears that Hannah was a victim of crime on two separate occasions. Firstly, a theft on 2nd February, 1825 when Francis Gosling was indicted for stealing a pocket book (value 2s) and twelve ornaments (value 3d).  He was found Not Guilty at the Old Bailey on 17th February, 1825. 

The second occasion was on 13th September, 1827 when a number of items were stolen from the stationer’s shop in Windmill Street, belonging to both Hannah and her daughter Mary.  Transcripts available from the Old Bailey.  7



Thomas Gravatt, born on 15th June 1816 was the son of John Gravatt and Hannah Steedman. He was a law stationer and he married Eleanor Tann, daughter of Edward Tann, safe maker and Ann, on 25th April 1839. His brother-in-law James Tann was a partner, having spent their apprenticeships together. They had set up home and business at 17 Serle’s Place, Lincolns Inn, at least up until 1846 6.  But soon after this they dissolved their company. Thomas and Eleanor stayed at Serles Place and James Tann moved his office to 4 Cocks’ Court, Carey Street 11. Thomas and Eleanor had twelve children, all baptised at St. Clement Dane’s, Westminster 5:

Thomas Gravatt (Banker’s Clerk) b 28.2.1840, bp 15.4.1840 Westminster, m Jun 1866 Norwich to Susanna Long
Edward Gravatt (Law Clerk) b 16.5.1841,  bp 9.6.1841 Westminster, m ? to Eliza
Ellen Ann Gravatt
b ? bp 12.10.1842 Westminster
Annie Gravatt b 31.1.1844, bp 26.2.1844 Westminster
John  Gravatt (Railway Clerk) b 25.9.1845, bp 22.10.1845 Westminster, m 14.9.1887 Walthamstow to Alexandria Elizabeth Tann (daughter of James Tann & Hannah Gravatt) d 1885? Tonbridge                                                                      
Robert Gravatt (Solicitor‘s Clerk)  b 15.6.1847, bp 13.7.1847  Westminster, m1 28.11.1872  Islington to Elizabeth Jessie James, m2 1900 Islington to Alice Mary Farrin (nee Law) d  17.8.1902 Highbury, bur 21.8.1902 Highgate cemetry
Clara Gravatt b 17.3.1849, bp 11.4.1849 Westminster, m 1872 Hackney to Henry Joseph Turner
Alfred James Gravatt b 7.7.1851, bp 3.8.1851 Westminster, d 1856 Westminster
Louisa Mary Gravatt b 2.9.1852,  bp 17.1.1854 Westminster, d 1856 Westminster
Alice Gravatt b 14.12.1855, bp 23.1.1856 Westminster
Alfred Gravatt (store Keeper) b 7.3.1858 Westminster, m 29.5.1886 St. Mary’s Walthamstow to Fanny Scholfield
Ada Gravatt b 1.4.1861, bp 26.4.1861 Westminster

Between 1865 and 1883, Thomas was in business at eight addresses around the Inns of Court.  They lived, however, at 17 Serle’s Place, Carey Street, St Clement Danes from at least 1841 until after 1861. In 1871 Thomas and Eleanor were living at 17 Banksleys Walk, Hackney and in 1881 at Grosvenor Park Road, Walthamstow.  In 1891 a 75 year old Thomas was living with Eleanor and both youngest daughters (Alice 35, and Ada 30) at 8 Clarendon Road, Walthamstow.  It is thought that Eleanor died in 1895.
Thomas died aged 85 on 17th July, 1899 3 Malta Road, Leyton from senile decay 4.   His daughter Alice was present at death.  No will has been found at present. The Death notice was extracted from “The Times” 20 Jul 1899 :-

“GRAVATT – On the 17th July, at Leyton, Thomas Gravett, late of Serle’s Place, Carey-street, in his 85th year.”



 Robert Gravatt, born 1817 was also a law Stationer. He married Clarissa Harriet Tann, another daughter of Edward Tann, in 1841 and they had the following children:

Clara Gravatt bp 2.11.1842 St Luke’s  
Emily Gravatt bp 6.4.1845 St Luke’s
Ellen Gravatt bp 6.5.1845 St Luke’s
Myra Louise Gravatt bp 17.9.1847 St Luke’s
Robert Edward Gravatt bp 1.4.1849 St Luke’s, d 15.2.1867 Cheapside
Harry James Gravatt bp 17.8.1851 St Luke’s, m 24.2.1886 Sutton Maddock, Shropshire to Emma Sarah Greenhaigh
William Gravatt (Sugar Broker) b 13.3.1853 St Luke’s

[Thanks to Stephen Thompson, also researching this family for doing a great job of noting all the instances of the name Gravatt in the Times Archives between 1785 and 1985. This has been a great clue as to the whereabouts of the Gravatt’s stationers. We know that they were at 8 Windmill Street before and during 1851 (bot not during the 1841 census) but the Times articles tell us that the premises were in existence from at least 1817.]

After John died, son Robert took over at this address until at least the time of the 1851 census, but later Robert’s premises had moved to 11 King’s Street, Cheapside 8.      Clarissa died on 27th November, 1859 at Cheapside. Clarissa’s Letter of Administration shows that by this time they were living at 7 Bonner Road, Bethnal Green; the shop’s premises being elsewhere.  It appears that Robert remarried in about 1881 to Mary Ann Lambert. Mary died on 9th February, 1902 and Robert died on 1st April 1902 at East Hendred.



Letter from Robert Gravatt to his parents 1859

Letter from Robert Gravatt to his parents 1859

Robert Gravatt was born on 15th June, 1847 at 17 Serles Place, Lincoln’s Inn, Westminster 4.  He was not at home at Serle’s Place at the time of the 1851 census.  He was with his grandmother Hannah Gravatt at Green Lanes, Tottenham 9. He went to school in in Hackney.  We have a letter written by him to his father in 1859 advising them of his Christmas vacation – a very formal and almost grovelling letter.

On 28th November, 1872 he married Elizabeth Jessie James, daughter of Walter James at St. Mary’s Church, Islington.  At the time of his marriage he and his bride lived in Barnbury Street, Islington and Robert was an Attorney’s clerk.
Robert and Elizabeth had nine children:

Jessie Eleanor Gravatt  b 1873, m 1905 Islington to George Samuel Fisher
Robert Walter Gravatt b 1874 Homerton, d 1931
Claira Alice Gravatt b 1876, m 1902 Islington to Charles C Grigson
George Gravatt (clerk) b 1877 Leyton,  d 1955
Alfred Gravatt b 1879 Homerton, d 1904
Katherine Gravatt (nurse) b 20.2.1881 Leyton,  d 3.8.1980 Ranfurly, New Zealand
Rebecca Gravatt b 1883 Leyton, m 1907 Edmonton to Edgar Charles Sparks, d 1932                                                                         
Ernest Gravatt (clerk) b 1885 Leyton, m 1906 Edmonton to Annie Gladys Sparham, d 1966 Tottenham
Louisa Gravatt (my great grandmother) b 9.3.1887 Islington, m 1909 to Augustus Thomas George Curtis, d 1973 Bridport

Up until 1876 they lived at Holly Cottage, Homerton.  In 1877 they moved to 6 Stanley Road, Leyton, where they lived until 1885 when they lived at 2 Rock Villas, Maynard Road, Walthamstow.
By 1881 Robert had become a solicitor and in 1887, when my great gran Louisa was born, they lived at 23 Stavordale Road, where they lived until Robert’s death in 1902.
Elizabeth died in December 1899 and in March 1901 Robert married Alice Mary Farrin (nee Law) who had been his wife’s nurse.   Alice had two children of her own that were living with the family in 1901; Walter and Dorothy Farrin.   Robert died on 17th August 1902 at home in 23 Stavordale Road 4. He was buried on 21st August at Highgate cemetry.   When he died, his brother John Gravatt, railway clerk of 35 Buxton Road, Chingford was an executor of his will.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Leslie Gravatt Fisher 1906 - 1988

Leslie Gravatt Fisher 1906 – 1988

Jessie Gravatt married George Samuel Fisher in 1905. They had a son Leslie Gravatt Fisher born in 1906. He was Ordained as Deacon in 1933 and as Priest in 1934. He performed the marriage ceremony of his cousin (my nan) Edna Curtis (daughter of Louisa Gravatt) in 1934.  He was Rector of St. Mary’s Bermondsey from 1939 – 1947 and resident as Canon of Chester Cathedral from 1965 to 1975 when he retired.  His last known address was 14 Lamb Park, Chagford, Newton Abbot, Devon.  He was buried in Chagford Parish church.

Katherine Gravatt was known as Renie, and was born on 20th February, 1881. It appears from the HHARP (Historic Hospital Admission Records Project) that she may have suffered from Lupus as a child and was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital when she was 11 years old, in January 1891 (although this is a year out as far as her age would be concerned and the address of residence does not match that of Stavordale Road, where they lived in March 1891 9). But as no other Katherine Gravatt appears on the census for 1881/1891 in London for this age, I must assume it is her. [Thanks to Richard Bardner for this information] I have not been able to find her in the 1911 census.

 Katherine became a nurse and moved to New Zealand in around 1920. (She was found to be leaving Southampton for Auckland on 25th February, 1925 on the Tainui, so this may have been a return visit or the initial emigration).   She never married. Her Obituary appeared in the Otago Times in 1980.  This included a brief outline of her life in New Zealand.


Katherine Gravatt 1881 - 1980

Katherine Gravatt 1881 – 1980


                     OTAGO DAILY TIMES                                     19.08.1980

                    OBITUARY                                                     MISS K. GRAVATT

 (Ranfurly Special) – The death has occurred of Maniatoto’s oldest resident, Miss  Katherine Gravatt, aged 99.  She would have been 100 on February 21.

Miss Gravatt was born in England and came to New Zealand in 1920 after nursing in England.  She was matron at Campbell House at Otago Boys High School for 15 years.  She then worked at the Waipiata Sanatorium as seamstress for nine years, retiring to Ranfurly when she reached the age of 65.  She was a patient in the Maniato hospital for the past nine years and a half.

Miss Gravatt was interested in the St. Clair Surf Life-Saving Club and gave various pieces of equipment to them.  She also made donations to the Waipata Youth Centre and gave cardiac beds, tea sets, flowers and shrubs to the Maniatoto hospital.


Rebecca Gravatt & Edgar Sparks & children c 1914

Rebecca Gravatt & Edgar Sparks & children c 1914



  Rebecca Gravatt born in 1883 married Edgar Sparks in 1907 and they had three children:

Harold Sparks b 1908
Stephen Sparks b 1910
Peggy Sparks b 1916

In the 1911 census they were living at 21 Evesham Road, New Southgate, Edmonton 9

Opposite photo of Rebecca, Harold, Edgar & Stephen c 1914 sent to me by grandchild of Harold; Eddy Towers




Ernest Gravatt born 1885 was a clerk. He married Annie Gladys Sparham in 1906. I remember Annie as Auntie Gladys and I used to pop round for a cup of tea with my mum when we lived in Tottenham in the 1960’s.  They had one son:  

Frederick Ernest Gravatt born 15.4.1907 Leytonstone, m 1939 to Florence Violet Young

They in turn had two sons Roger and Neil (the author of the original family tree).


Louisa Gravatt (Curtis) c 1965

Louisa Gravatt (Curtis) c 1965


Louisa Gravatt was my great grandmother. She was born on 9th March, 1887 at 34 Stavordale Road, Islington 4.  She married my great grandfather Augustus Thomas George Curtis in 1909. Please the the Curtis family history for more. 







 Back to top

1 Will of John Gravatt senior dated 11 January, 1834


3 St. Luke’s Finsbury  registers

4 birth, marriage, death certificates

5 St. Clement Dane’s, Westminster registers

6 1846 London Directory

7 Old Bailey Online

8 The Times Archive

9 Census returns

10 Highgate cemetery headstone photo sent by Peter Tann

11 letter from James Tann’s daughter-in-law Jane Tann to her son 1907.

3 Responses to “Gravatt”

  • Hello, Juliet. It appears that you and I have a connection in our family tree: Alfred Gravatt, b. 1879 in Homerton and d. 1904. He married my great-aunt Rosa Alice Eliza RILEY, b.1883, d.1966. They had two children: Evelyn Rosa Mary GRAVATT, 1905-1983, and Eric Alfred GRAVATT, 1909-1981. They lived in London. I started our family tree in 2012.

    Best regards, Angela

    • Hi Angela.
      Thanks for getting in touch. I will add the details of Eric and Evelyn onto the family tree. I don’t suppose you have any photos do you? Always worth asking as we are a bit thin on the ground with Gravatt photos!
      All the best Juliet

  • Ellie:

    Hi Angela, it was great to find your website and the Gravatt family connection. Rosa Mary Gravatt born 1870 or 1871 was from the census, the youngest daughter of Edward Gravatt and Eliza P K. Rosa Mary Gravatt married Edward George London who was born in Hackney in 1866 and a leather case maker. They had one son, Arthur Howard who was born in 1899 in Hackney. They lived at 43 Lavers Road Stoke Newington. Rosa Mary Gravatt is living with them (widowed) when she is 73, and Arthur Howard was 11 years old in the 1911 census. Arthur was my grandfather, and Rosa Mary my great grand mother so Edward Gravatt and Eliza P K Gravatt my great great grandparents!!!

    This is amended version!!

    Best wishes

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